A Catholic convent and college in Los Angeles might seem an unlikely breeding ground for Pop Art and social commentary. However, for nearly three decades, Sister Mary Corita—a Catholic nun, teacher, and inspiration to such luminaries as Buckminster Fuller and Charles Eames—devoted her life to creating cutting-edge serigraphs. In 1946, a decade after joining the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sister Corita began teaching art at Immaculate Heart College and by 1952 she had exhibited her first silk screenprint. The exhibition is comprised of 44 prints that illustrate Sister Corita’s signature work beginning in the 1960s, which broke free from the more traditionally religious or Biblical imagery to works that encompassed a wider concept of spirituality. Inspired by media and advertising, she began her evocative use, reuse, and re-contextualization of everyday phrases and images to create art that addressed contemporary issues ranging from poverty, materiality, and environmental degradation to inequality, social injustice, and war. Sister Corita: The Joyous Revolutionary explores the artist’s work chronologically and thematically, from her early religious pieces and Abstract Expressionist-inspired works of the late 1950s to the popular “Love” stamp created for the United States Postal Service.
This exhibition is a program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts. UMMA's installation is made possible in part by the CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.